The first House Democrat to publicly say that he would oppose Nancy Pelosi for Speaker in the next Congress is now running a campaign ad touting his position.
In a new 30-second television spot, Rep. Bobby Bright (Ala.) pledges to vote “for the person who will allow [him] to best represent [his] constituents,” as a Friday Associated Press headline that reads “Bobby Bright Won’t Vote for Pelosi” flashes across the screen.
“I’ve heard my constituents, and they don’t want a liberal running the House,” a shirtsleeve-clad Bright tells viewers, adding, “They want a conservative.”
The freshman lawmaker also proclaims himself to be “the most independent Member of Congress” in the new spot.
Bright, who for months has been touting his independence from party leaders in his hard-fought race against Republican Martha Roby, said last week that he would not vote for either the California Democrat or for Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) for Speaker in the 112th Congress.
“What I try to do is bring people together to make good things happen for our country,” Bright says in the ad.
At least two other Democratic candidates, Rob Miller in South Carolina’s 2nd district and Roy Herron in Tennessee’s 8th district, also have said they would not vote for Pelosi for Speaker, and a handful of Democratic incumbents have stopped short of committing to supporting her in recent interviews with Roll Call.
Like other Republican candidates looking to topple Democrats, Roby has made an issue of Bright’s January 2009 vote for Pelosi, who has served as Speaker since 2007. Although many Democrats have been touting their independence from Pelosi in campaign ads, Bright’s ad is the first of its kind and comes despite money that top Democrats, including Pelosi herself, have poured into the race.
As of Tuesday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had spent more to boost Bright’s campaign than on any other House Democrat in a competitive race, except for Rep. Larry Kissell (N.C.). The DCCC has already spent $626,000 on the Alabama race, according to the latest independent expenditure reports filed by the committee, and it is likely that total will surpass $1 million before Nov. 2.
In the ad, Bright also touts his recent vote to repeal a portion of the new heath care law, Pelosi’s and President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievements of the past two years.
“And I won’t stop there,” he adds.